Why ‘Half of A Yellow Sun’ premiere was stopped

The ban recently imposed on the premiere of a much hyped-movie entitled “Half Of A Yellow Sun” may take a while to be lifted as a source in the production team of a movie outfit involved in the project has told R that the many complaints against the movie may cause the long delay.

The author of the book, Chinamanda Adichie allegedly insisted that offensive scenes in the movie would not be edited, while the Censors Board management will not back down on its decision to have some parts of the movie edited, especially the scenes that are likely to incite the viewing public of a particular region.

According to the source, a veiled reference was made to a former military president for his role against another major tribe in the country during  the Civil War and using a movie to portray his role could be “misinterpreted as genocidal”.

Caught up with in Ibadan when the premiere should have held penultimate Friday, the source, who had travelled from Lagos to watch the movie, said it came as a shock to many Lagos movie lovers that the premiere could be put off in the aquatic city, but wanted to see if it had problems only with Lagos stakeholders,hence his drive to Ibadan. “Many of us had come from Lagos just to find out if the ban was restricted to Lagos only, but before we got to Ibadan, we began to get a clearer picture of what was going on. It is simply political. At this moment of insecurity in the country, it is going to be suicidal to allow that movie to run without some editing because it could cause a lot of uproar.

“What a lot of people query, even before the ban, was the predominance of stars from a particular region. That alone is enough to convince many that the writer was setting the agenda of some people with the movie. Again, many are not convinced that the writer was alone in capturing that story as it is told in the movie. That the writer insisted on not editing the movie, even though a source in the Board admitted that it couldn’t do anything about the book that has already been published, said that the movie should be tinkered with so that a particular region will not feel offended as the writer had not even born when the crisis occured.

“Of course, it can be credited to sound creativity of the author of the book or its an outright supply of information from another writer who not only witnessed the crisis, but has haboured a morbid hatred for the Nation State. The use of an emblem that shares semblance with a flag is also questionable. These are the questions the writer was asked to answer and allegedly refused to respond to. For those querying the ban, when last the Board ever censored a movie in the country?

If an actress could be stoned for her role on “Iyawo Alhaji”, worst thing will happen if that movie is allowed to be seen by the public without editing some parts”,  Censors Board source told R. “The book is believed to be that of a foremost writer, while the movie is of the relatively known writer”, he added.

Meanwhile, the Board has defended her action saying that it reserved the right to control the quality, and even compel content owners to remove offensive ideas in any movie before it could be screened anywhere in the country. “To correct reports already circulating, we have not banned the movie, we are just doing out duty”, a spokeswoman told media during the week.

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